Really Useful Tips on How to Maintain a Swimming Pool

How to Maintain a Swimming Pool
Maintaining your swimming pool in your backyard is essential as it protects you and your family's health. Make sure you cover your swimming pool whenever it is not in use. This will save you a lot of time, energy, and money along with keeping the pool in good condition.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Jun 7, 2018
After you get, install, or build a swimming pool in your home, whether it is traditional one or above ground level, the next step is to understand the home pool maintenance components. Although it may seem difficult, cleaning and maintaining a swimming pool is fairly simple when you have the right tools and guidance.
Apart from the cover which you can place on the pool, there are other steps which need to be followed.

If you wish to keep a saltwater (below ground) or an above ground level swimming pool, here are a few instructions about the maintenance procedure.
Saltwater Pool Maintenance
There are few homeowners who believe that incorporating a saltwater pool in their backyards won't be as fresh as the ocean side. Having a saltwater pool is not only executable but also takes the same amount of maintenance as any freshwater pool. While freshwater pools have chlorinated water, saltwater pools have saline water in them.
You always have to keep in mind that while maintaining a pool, any kind of pool, the steps need to be followed religiously.
ratio of water to salt
The first step of this swimming pool maintenance guide is understanding the water level. This means you need to decide exactly how much water does your swimming pool need and can hold.
Because when you make this calculation, we can estimate the measure of salt added into the pool. The exact ratio of water to salt is set as, 1 million part water to 3,000 parts salt concentration.
With this measurement, you can barely even get the salty taste in the pool. You can easily enjoy the saltwater pool without subjecting yourself to burning and itchy eyes. Also, you will have to ensure that you get this ratio correct because if salt drops in the swimming pool, the chlorine production will stop, and growth of bacteria will begin.
To avoid this situation, you need to test the water (at regular intervals) and make sure that it's salinity is at the correct level. Also, there are salt testing kits available in local pool shops that will help you check the salt level. You can also install a saline water indicator in your swimming pool which will read out the measurement inside the pool.
Whenever the salt level increases, turn the knob on the indicator which decides exactly how much chlorine is inside the swimming pool. This will help to increase the chlorine level and keep up a balance in the swimming pool.
You need to check the pH of the pool (buy a pH testing kit) to ensure correct readings; for saltwater pools, the pH level should be between 7.2 and 7.8. Have everyone in the house know the readings so that there are no complications. If you see any variances but the control knob says everything is fine, do check if the control panel is working correctly.
skimmer basket
Most of the types of swimming pools are constructed in open, it is obvious that it will have to face the issue of dead leaves, bird droppings, insects, pollen, granules, and many such things.
These things can be easily removed with the help of a skimmer basket. You can clear up the debris on the surface of the water. You can use tile cleansing agents to clean the pool tiles.
If the water stays for a long time at one place there is a growth of water plants which can decay in the water. The most commonly grown plant is swimming pool algae. To get rid of them and to restrict their growth, you need to treat your pool with algaecide every week.
Vaacum cleaner
Apart from maintaining the pH balance, using algaecide, and removing dirt and debris out of the pool, you need to empty the water and clean the pool manually.
Brush the entire swimming pool so that all the dirt comes out of the walls and tiles of the pool. Then with the help of a vacuum cleaner, clean the entire pool properly.
Important Troubleshooting Instructions
salt readings
Always check the salt readings in your saline water indicator. It can be your daily or weekly chore.
If anybody enters the pool and complains about burning eyes, uncomfortable skin sensations, and/or high chlorine scent, immediately check the chlorine levels of the pool. DO NOT take these signs lightly. Usually, high chlorine scent indicates that the chlorine level is very low (not because it is too high).
Two weeks after adding chlorine to water, the remnants of the interaction between chlorine and the pool waste can be removed by a process known as 'oxidation' or 'shocking' . The by-products of chlorine, called chloramines, are produced when an insufficient amount of chlorine is used to disinfect the pool.
The filthy odor which people mistake for chlorine is not of pure chlorine, but of the chloramines. The unpleasant odor can be countered through 'super-chlorination' of the swimming pool with a dose of 10ppm (part per million) of calcium hypochlorite or 'cal-hypo' or 'bleaching powder', every two weeks in summer and every week in winter.
During winters, swimming pools are hardly used, so it's important to cover the pool properly, particularly in areas where the mercury level drops to zero or below. There are various kinds of heavy-duty pool covers that can be operated manually, semi-manually, or automatically.
When the winter season ends, the covers can be removed, and after proper sanitization and ensuring that the pumps and filters, or even the 'saltwater chlorinator' is functioning properly, you can enjoy your swimming pool for yet another summer.
Above Ground Pool Maintenance
Apart from the saltwater (underground) swimming pools, above ground pools are also common these days. As there can be limited space in your backyard, a smaller, more compact pool can be installed. Above ground pool deck ideas and plans are an excellent addition to any home for outdoor entertainment during summers.
filter
The most important part of above ground pool maintenance is the pool's pump. The reason is it cleans any/all debris out of the pool as it circulates the water through its attached filter.
Circulating water inside the pool helps prevent bacteria growth. During summers or when the pool is being used, keep the pump running for at least 8 to 10 hours per day for optimal performance. In addition to that, you have to clean the filter as well.
They need to be backwashed and the cartridge filter needs to be changed as well when they get dirty. Most of the above ground pools have small cartridge filters that don't do an accurate job. In such a case, the best way is to see if you can get a bigger sand filter and pump for your pool.
pH level of pool water has to be checked weekly to ensure it is between 7.2 and 7.6. If it is anywhere outside the range,under or over, the chemicals won't be effective. As you use the pool on a daily basis, contaminants add to the water. To oxidize any contaminants present in the water, "pool shock" can be used to free the chlorine in the pool.
Pool shock kills algae and contaminants. Keep the range of 1-3 ppm chlorine in the pool and buy test strips to measure chlorine and alkalinity of the pool water (between 80 and 120 ppm). For every 10,000 gallons of pool water, add 1 bag of shock per week. You can write down the measurements or be responsible to take care of them yourself.
Important Troubleshooting Instructions
Each time the pool is being shocked, you have to use the vacuum and run the filter for about 8 hours a day. If you notice that the appearance of pool water seems slightly cloudy, run the filter continuously till the water is clear.
Add algaecide once a week, to make sure no algae growth takes place. As a weekly cleaning task, you will have to scrub all the sides of the pool and make sure that whoever enters the pool has clean feet. Do not drain the pool as it will dry the liner as well, otherwise you may have to replace the liner altogether.
These were few instructions on pool maintenance. The in-ground swimming pools' maintenance can be done same as above ground pools. If there are any concerns, you can seek help from a professional. Regular maintenance will extend your swimming pool's life considerably. So you won't have to spend a lot on unnecessary maintenance done by professionals.